Thank goodness Pam at Digging hosts a Foliage Follow-Up to May Dreams Gardens Bloom Day. The blooming lineup in my July Bloom Day post can stand in with very little revision for August. Holding down the fort and keeping the hummingbirds and insects happy in August is the same bunch of long-blooming salvias, gaura, knautia, echium, verbascum, euphorbia, Persicaria amplexicaule, kangaroo paws, valerian in bloom since early summer. I throttled back on annuals, so not much new is erupting into blossom this August. Gardens for me are still all about the eruptions, not the staid, unchanging formalities, but this year August looks a lot like July and even June. Would I take a couple lines of track from the High Line, including every last grass and perennial, and plunk it down in my garden? Oh, hell, yeah. I’m a wannabe prairie garden companion. But that would leave me with nine months in a very small garden staring at nubby perennial crowns when there can be evergreen grevilleas in bloom in winter. (Why must the garden be such a heavy-handed teacher of compromise? Work with what you’ve got. Bloom where you live. Know thyself. I get it already!) With the last rainfall over four months ago, arid zone 10 can sometimes turn planning for flowering herbaceous plants in August into a dogged military campaign, but planning for gorgeous leaves is a walk in the park.
Arundo donax ‘Golden Chain,’ Phormium ‘Alison Black,’ Aralia cordata ‘Sun King.’
A privacy hedge of three young Monterey cypresses, Cupressus macrocarpa ‘Citriodora,’ topping the 6-foot fence this year.
Leycesteria formosa ‘Golden Lanterns’ started blooming late July, but the flowers look a little small, not the ropy chains I was expecting. Maybe the golden-leaved cultivar has smaller flowers? Big, red leaves are from Musa ‘Siam Ruby.’
Passiflora sanguinolenta in a pot growing up the side of the bath house, folding up and getting camera shy around dusk. The caterpillar vanished two days ago.
What I am always on the lookout for are a few tough, long-blooming plants for summer that will come and go and still leave the garden in a state worth looking at the next month. That balance is different every year. Oddly enough, the Euphorbia ‘Diamond Frost’ is a perennial in zone 10, and reaches a height of 4 feet as it snakes up through other plants. Just a few feet short of the effect of a Crambe cordifolia. Yellow gaillardia and self-sown castor bean plant.
White valerian self-sows next to the paving, here billowing out from under the grass Stipa arundinacea (Syn. Anemanthele lessoniana). I don't think this grass has ever flowered for me. Echium gentianoides 'Tajinaste,' my first summer with this long-blooming, spectacular bugloss.
First summer also with Achillea ageratum, and I hope it reseeds. I've been growing the tansy, Tanacetum vulgare 'Isla Gold,' for quite a few years. Not invasive at all. In fact, it languishes without occasional deep watering.
The crazy Amicia zygomeris is now 8 feet tall, and I’ve started to thin it out a bit. It’s been throwing out those yellow pea flowers since February.
I do have to let Mr. Darrell Probst know that his coreopsis hybrid ‘Full Moon’ has come back this July, the third year in a row, an amazing accomplishment for any perennial in this zone 10. Thank you, Mr. Probst.
Teucrium ‘Fairy Dust’ keeps getting cut back, sited right at the corner of a path, but I doubt anything short of a vinegar bath could stop it.
Dorycnium hirsutum is a little shrub I haven’t grown in years. Nice to have it back this summer.
Trombetta di Albenga, the climbing Italian summer squash, is starting to swag through and hang from the pergola.
The viney shrub Coronilla valentina subsp. glauca has been corraled in a rusty spiral tuteur and finally seems happy enough to possibly bloom this winter.
And from the succulents, Euphorbia bracteata, aka Pedilanthus bracteatus still wows me. I splurged on a large 5-gallon bought in bloom almost a couple months ago.
Agave ‘Mr. Ripple’ and the row of dwarf olives, Olea europaea ‘Little Ollie,’ have really filled in this year.
Also new to me this summer is Echeveria ˜Opal Moon.’
Thanks again to Pam and Carol for hosting.